Halloween is the time of year where scaring is a “scream” and frightening is fun.  However, it’s important to remember there are real terrors at play – not the ones found in haunted houses – but the everyday terrors that can sneak up on small businesses if they don’t pay attention.

In honor of the holiday, online legal service RocketLawyer has collected a selection of scary legal myths for small business owners to combat…if they dare.

Myth 1: Businesses Will Get Sued for Not Providing Employee Health Coverage

  • Ninety-seven percent of businesses in the U.S. are not required to provide health insurance for their workers. Why? Because these companies have less than 50 employees and Obamacare’s “employer mandate” only applies to businesses with over 50 full-time staff.

Myth 2: I do not need to consult a lawyer when it comes to naming my company.

  • There are 4 million small businesses in the U.S., and the likelihood that one of will have your name could be quite high.  A horror story is waiting happen if you pick a name legally protected by another company. No matter how clever or “different” your company’s or product’s name may be, you should always take preventive measures to ensure they have not been used and then legally protect them.

Myth 3:  Small business assets are protected if they incorporate. While this is partially true, there are many situations where this does not apply:

  • Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you own a business you are not personally responsible for the assets you acquire.  Most likely you will have to cosign and if you default: it’s your personal pocketbook that will feel the pinch.
  • Mixing Business with Pleasure: A Dangerous Cocktail:  Using company funds for pleasure purposes can expose you to the dark side of the IRS.  (Keep in mind, the criminal fraud branch is the ONLY IRS branch open during the government shutdown.)
  • Death and Taxes:  Failing to pay income taxes and employee Social Security and Medicare taxes draw the attention of the IRS and, rest assured, the tax man cometh.

RocketLawyer (@RocketLawyer) offers affordable legal services and online legal documents for businesses and individuals.